Warren mayor shares outlook for 2019 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren mayor shares outlook for 2019

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Getting aggressive on removing eyesores and building a stronger relationship between the community and police are just two goals Warren Mayor Doug Franklin has for 2019.

The mayor says he wants to see more community policing now that the police department is fully staffed with 70 officers.

"Bridging the gap, building police and community relations, doing those things to help try to address and stem some of the crime problems in our city," Franklin said.

Franklin says it was important to keep the promise to voters that manpower would be at 100 percent with the successful passage of a half-percent income tax increase.

The New Year got off to a busy start for detectives who are now working to solve the city's first homicide of 2019. A shooting in broad daylight on Tuesday morning at about 8 am behind a home on West Avenue left one man dead.

"At the end of the day, Warren is a safe community," Franklin said. "I think Warren is doing better, but as mayor, it's never good enough in terms of addressing crime."

Franklin says it all depends on the circle of people individuals find themselves in. The drug epidemic is an ongoing fight and contributes to the crime in the city. He said preventing problems from boiling over is part of an ongoing effort that he's focusing on with a few members of the clergy in the city and the city's safety-service director.

"We're going to be proactive because you always see a spike in crime when the weather breaks," he said.

Over the past few years, Franklin says the city has worked to clean up several commercial properties that needed to be addressed. He said city dollars were used to start tackling eyesores for the first time in 20 to 30 years.

Driving into the city down West Market Street into the city, you can still see buildings boarded up. He says they've focused on entrances to the city, but admits they have a long list of properties to handle and that work will take time.

The city took down 24 commercial buildings over the past two years and wants to accelerate that mission later this year once construction season starts.

Franklin said he's excited about a new investment coming to downtown Warren on North Park Avenue. Coon Restoration's owner Steve Coon recently received historic tax credits to revamp the Packard Apartments.

He says Coon applied for the tax credits four times and he gives him credit for trying again.

A new splash pad will also be coming to the city at Packard Park later in the year. Franklin said he's also focused on quality of life for his residents. He said it will be large and will likely be the first of a few in the city. A new look for the Warren Courthouse Square fountain is also in the works.

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